Since the 10th, the Kingfisher Screen has been providing daily sightings. We have multiple kingfishers on the reserve, and when the water is clear enough the screen is a brilliant place to linger. You may need to be patient though – there’s plenty of fishing territory for them to have a go at.
Up on the Tips, we’ve had many of the usual/long-term sightings such as little grebes, bearded tits (although less so in the wind!) and green woodpeckers making the most of the new fence posts.
A red crested pochard was spotted over the weekend, so well worth keeping an eye out for on your next visit.
Red crested pochard Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)
Some excitement brightening up another quiet week was a great white egret joining the birds at the moat. It was here on the 16th, so hopefully will stick around for a little while at least. The Moat is the same area that the spoonbills bred this summer, and is best seen from Lin Dike or up on the Coal Tips.
Great white on the moat - Marie Foster
Down the same end of the reserve is New Flash – where we were visited by a family of 5 whooper swans (2 adults and 3 juvs) earlier in the week. They are easiest to spot by the way they hold their necks – much straighter than the mute swan. The whoopers have made their way over here from Iceland, quite impressive but not quite the distance of some of our African migrants (which, believe it or not are occasionally still here. A swallow was seen this morning!)
Also on New Flash - 9 curlew this morning.
Also hanging around Lin Dike is a Cetti’s warbler – often hard to see but their call may help! https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/c/cettiswarbler/
A much easier bird to see is the stonechat – lots of these around as the winter months approach.
On the Main Bay/Fairburn end of the reserve we’ve had goosander and goldeneye staying put, plus up to 15 pintail (9 this morning), snipe and the odd kingfisher sighting too!
Pintail - Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)
Despite it being the middle of October, we still have a few bumblebees drifting about- tree bumblebee, large earth/buff-tailed bumblebee and the common carder bee. We couldn’t leave these out!
Bombus terrestris (large earth bumblebee) - Alan Kelly
Flying over has been hundreds more pink feet, and four golden plover this morning. These have been spotted over at our sister site, St. Aidan's too. Hopefully the wind will stir some excitement, and once it's over we may have some birds visible!
The wardens have been brush cutting and trimming some paths back. Soon we’ll be placing rafts in the lagoons for more breeding space. Events wise – it’s all about half term! Hallowe’en spooky tours and the quiz trail will be plenty to keep families entertained.